Rising Sun shuts out Havre de Grace
Special to the Whig
— Rising Sun earned an 11-0, five-inning victory over Havre de Grace in Junior Baseball District 5 action at North East Little League on Monday.
With the win, Rising Sun emerged from the loser’s bracket and will now face Elkton in Wednesday’s championship game.
Rising Sun got off to a slow start in the first inning when Havre de Grace starting pitcher Brayden Grusz struck out the first two batters and retired the third with a pop out.
But Rising Sun was just as effec-
tive as their opponents, as pitcher Jared Stanley struck out three in a row after walking the first batter.
It was in the second inning where the bats for Rising Sun exploded, rattling off eight runs.
Luke Hamm was able to break the deadlock after he crushed the ball into deep left field, bringing in two runs.
It was busted open again after Ben Gilcher, J.J Psenicska, John Valentine, Stanley and Robbie Stickley all recorded consecutive RBIs to put the game out of reach for Havre de Grace.
That electric second inning consisted of Rising Sun batting around in order, getting hits off of solid bat contact, moving runners around the bases via steals and smart base running. The team also benefited from the walks issued by Havre de Grace.
Havre de Grace was never able to answer the big inning, as it was held scoreless the entirety of the game due to Rising Sun’s stellar pitching and defensive performance, led by Stanley and relief pitcher Nate Husfelt.
The game ended after the fifth inning due to the tournament’s 10-run rule after five innings.
Rising Sun will now advance and rematch Elkton, the same team that beat it earlier in the tournament.
In that game, Rising Sun surrendered 14 walks.
“You can’t win games if you walk 14 guys,” Rising Sun head coach Clayton Gilcher said.
Gilcher also spoke on his team’s all-around dominance and effort toward knocking off Havre de Grace.
“One of the goals today was to hit a lot better,” Gilcher said. “Another goal was for pitchers to throw strikes, so I really think that helps our momentum going into Wednesday’s game.”
Gilcher said this team nicknamed themselves “The Eliminators” after the loss to Elkton, giving the club much-needed motivation to go out and dominate games leading to the championship match-up with their county foe.
“When you lose that first game, you’re now the first team in the losers’ bracket,” Gilcher said. “We want to eliminate everybody out of the tournament. That’s the goal.”
Stanley, who dominated on both the mound and at the plate, said hitting the ball and playing quality defense is the key to keeping up the club’s success.
“We just have to keep steady and keep hot,” Stanley said.
Stanley also mentioned that the championship game against Elkton will not be viewed as a revenge game in his eyes.
“I’m just trying to play baseball,” Stanley said. “it’s not a personal thing, It’s just playing baseball.”
Elkton pitcher Reagan Connell delivers to the plate during a game in the Senior Softball State Tournament in Cambridge.